August 19, 2009 / 1:10 AM / 8 years ago

Venice fest names writing competition after Kezich

ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - The Venice Film Festival announced Tuesday that it would name its sidebar competition for budding young film essayists in honor of Tullio Kezich, the venerable Rome-based critic who died on Monday at the age of 80.

Kezich's career was inextricably linked to Venice. He had attended all but two of the 65 previous editions of the festival and in recent years had become a de facto historian of the storied event.

Kezich also was an author and screenwriter, writing one of the best-known biographies of Federico Fellini and penning the screenplay for "La leggenda del santo bevitore" (The Legend of the Holy Drinker), directed by Ermanno Olmi and starring Rutger Hauer, which won Venice's Golden Lion prize in 1988.

Kezich, who had been credentialed at every Venice festival from 1946 to 2008, was also on the selection committee for the festival in the 1960s.

The contest will select 10 winning essays among those written about one of the films in the official competition of this year's festival. Eligible essays must be written by Italian citizens aged 18 to 26, and must be submitted by the end of October. The competition will carry Kezich's name in all future editions, the festival said.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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